**END OF THE DAY: forget what I said above... I'm once again annoyed at the professor. Sigh, I think there's going to be a lot of up and down in this work relationship. Sigh.
Anyway, I went to the bookstore to cheer me up and bought a couple of books :) More on those later :) Right now, let's go to my review :)
Price of Desire by Jo Goodman
published by Zebra Kensington in August 2008
Olivia Cole is devastated to learn that her ne're-do well brother has promised her to the operator of a London gaming hall as payment of his debts. Olivia accepts her fate-even if it means that her reputation will suffer from living among rouges and gamblers. But when she meets the sexy and mysterious Griffin Wright-Jones, the Viscount of Breckenridge, Olivia has more than her good name to worry about-for he rouses in her wanton thoughts she's never dared entertain-until now...
Griffin wears the scars of his life on his striking face, Although he wants Olivia like no other woman before, he doesn't force her to share his bed-a difficult task considering how beautiful she is. But with each passing night Griffin and Olivia's resolve weakens until finally they take their greatest gamble on one night of reckless pleasure...
Genre: historical romance
Series: loosely connected to If His Kiss is Wicked
The Story: After having been on her own for a few years, Olivia Cole, disowned by her father, takes refuge with her younger brother Alastair. Unfortunately for her, the younger man has contracted a debt of 1000 pounds at Breckenridge's gaming hell and has given up Olivia as a marker. Having no choice, Olivia stays at the gaming hell, waiting for her brother's return... however, as time passes, she wonders if he will. Meanwhile, attraction is growing between Olivia and Griffin; however, Griffin knows not to push. Olivia has secrets and he intends to find out what they are...
My Opinion: I know a lot of bloggers that love Jo Goodman's books and that's why I keep trying them. I enjoyed One Forbidden Evening and If His Kiss is Wicked enough that I only hesitate a little before buying it. Finally, it's Rosie who made me picked it up. Unfortunately, Price of Desire didn't do it for me :( Mainly, I thought that the beginning was extremely slow. In my opinion, not much happened for half the book. Yes, Olivia and Griffin got to know each other better and while I'm happy they didn't surrender to lust for so long... there just wasn't any action. Oh sure, there was the gentleman villain who attacked and almost raped Olivia... but it wasn't difficult to guess who sent him.
To me, the book only picked up when Olivia and Griffin finally became lovers. Starting for there, you zipped through the end quite rapidly. I think that with the shift of relationship between the main characters, there was a change of mood as well. Sure, there were some dark moments, but I thought that it became more playful and happy... then just boring ^_^;
In addition, Ms Goodman's style is always an obstacle for me. I think that the problem is a lack of familiarity in the writing style as well as between the characters. It makes the writing style very polite and a bit cold and I have difficulty reading such style. It doesn't help that Ms Goodman keeps surprising me with darker topics in her books :( She did it in A Season to be Sinful and A Forbidden Evening. Of course, I wouldn't mind to be surprised if it was in a more joyful manner instead of these dark topics :( Seriously, I don't think anybody likes reading about sexual abuses, but those are realities in life and therefore happens in books. I'm aware of it and I don't avoid reading such books... Thing is, the way Ms Goodman incorporates these topics in her storyline, I always feel like she's taking me by surprise - seriously, I don't expect them... although, it's true that there were big hints in Price of Desire.
Price of Desire is not a total loss however. I liked Olivia and Griffin and all their layers. They were two highly intelligent and clever characters who found ways to survive the circumstances. Also, credits go to Ms Goodman who took a common plotline - the heroine being used to pay a debt, and turned it into something different and less typical. I did think that there were some loose ends and some issues that Ms Goodman could have resolved more clearly, but there were minor in comparison to all what happened.
My Grade: C... Personally, I think it's going to take a while before I picked up another of Ms Goodman's books even if I have enjoyed some of her books in the past... The writing style just doesn't suit me :(